Staying Afloat In The High Seas Of A Busy Life

How does a person “stay afloat”
in the high seas of a busy life?

The answer is in the Plimsoll Line.

Samuel Plimsoll was concerned--very concerned! Hundreds, if not thousands, of sailors were lost at sea each year in the 19th century. The reason? Unscrupulous owners were overloading their ships.

Plimsoll published a paper, Our Seamen, in which he chronicled the problem and offered a solution. In 1876 at Plimsoll's urging, British Parliament required all ships to have a line painted around their hulls. As freight was being loaded onto the boat, the vessel naturally sank lower into the water. But when the water reached the “Plimsoll line” the loading stopped.

Dockhands knew the ship could carry no more without placing the cargo and its crew in danger.

Plimsoll’s argument was based on a simple premise: a boat has limits to the load it can carry. So do people! There are only so many more responsibilities we can load into our hull before we “capsize.” 

Paul understood this. Notice his request while sitting in a cold prison cell:

When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments.
— 2 Timothy 4:13 ESV

Don’t pass by that verse too quickly. Paul operated with a Plimsoll line. He had limits. When it got cold, he got a coat. There is a lesson here. We need to understand our limits:

  • Our physical limits
  • Our emotional limits
  • Our relational limits

Think about it: What good is your ship to God if it is sitting on the bottom of the sea? What does it matter if you sail out of the harbor—the envy of all—if you don’t make it to your destination?

Do you know your limits? If you do not, you will simply continue to pile on more cargo until you finally go under. Maybe it’s time to paint a line around the hull that is your life. You don’t have to do everything. You can’t! Check your Plimsoll line. If you are sinking too deep, it is time to unload.

Here's a question to ask yourself today: “Is the load I am carrying keeping me from being my best for God?” If it is, prayerfully evaluate where you need to unload some of your cargo.

  • CLICK HERE for the post, Why You Need A Replenishment Strategy